Our Annual Meeting in February provided an opportunity to reflect on what we have been up to over the past year. Bird walks are our biggest form of public outreach and by the fall of 2022, we had returned to normal operation with no pre-registration. Between construction and the pandemic, we hadn’t had a walk in Mimico / Humber Bay since February 2020. We returned there for a walk in November. Despite the challenges of the Humber Bay Park closure, this is still a worthwhile endeavour. We see participants here who don’t come out to walks at Colonel Samuel Smith Park.
There have been no new developments on our “Windows to the Lake” (a.k.a. “road ends”) efforts. After the big win at Miles Road in 2021, we are still waiting for work to begin on that parkette expansion. We made a presentation about “Windows to the Lake” to the New Toronto Residents’ Association. The issue was news to most people there, but we aren’t aware of further action.
In May, we launched a petition, both on paper and online, to urge the removal of the dam on the lower Etobicoke Creek. While official response was slow in coming, the site was fenced-off in July. In October, we learned that consultants had been retained to update the assessment that was done over 20 years ago when we were originally promised its removal.
Early this year, just before our AGM, the fencing came down blocking the Etobicoke Creek Trail at the QEW. A new trail was completed north of the QEW just before the bridge construction started. We are in contact with the project manager and hope to see the missing link completed soon so that we will finally have a paved trail from Lake Ontario right up to Sherway Drive.
We participated in two festivals this year. The Spring Bird Festival was overwhelmingly successful. It was by far the best attended in the festival’s history. Was it a trend or a post-lockdown phenomenon? We will find out in May, but we have already planned changes to help deal with the volume of visitors. We also participated in the Long Branch Tree Festival which, despite starting in torrential rain, was a success as well. The Tree Festival is in its infancy but looks likely to become a regular fixture on the fall calendar.